Nazgûl: painting a Ringwraith

Painted miniature Nazgul

First of the Nazgûl. Sculpted by Khurzluk Miniatures and printed by 4th Age 3D Printing (use this link for a 10% discount to get your own!), this is a beautiful figure.

For those unfamiliar with The Lord of the Rings, the Nazgûl are nine powerful and immortal servants of the dark lord Sauron. Also knowns as Ringwraiths, they were once Kings of Men and were corrupted by Sauron’s power. Their main goal is to retrieve the One Ring for their master.

Painting Process

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Clean and prime the miniature

The first thing you need to do is clean the miniature thoroughly. Make sure any printing supports have been carefully removed, using clippers or a craft knife. Often supports can be just snapped away with your fingers. Use warm soapy water and a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub away any remaining resin or support material from the 3D printing process. Once the miniature is clean and dry, you need to apply a primer to help the paint adhere to the surface. Since the Nazgûl is majority black, I used a black primer – in this case, Rustoleum 2X UltraCover Paint+Primer, available from hardware stores, because I’ve found it just as good as more expensive hobby primers but much cheaper.

Step 2: Basecoating

Once the primer is dry, you can start applying the base coat. Since the robes are primarily black, this job was pretty much done! For future steps though, I drybrush with Citadel Mechanicus Standard Grey.

Step 3: Detailing

Once that was dry, I did a lighter dry brush with a lighter grey, in this case, Citadel Dawnstone. After this, I did all the metal parts – armour and sword – with Citadel Leadbelcher.

Step 4: Shading and highlighting

To create even more depth and realism, you need to add shading and highlighting to the miniature. I used Nuln Oil to deepen the recesses and add an even darker shadow to the folds of the robes. One coat of Druchi Violet wash to the sword gives it a purple tinge, followed by Nuln Oil for shading. With the much lighter Ulthuan Grey and working carefully, I added a few highlights to the edges of the robes. I followed up by highlighting the sword and armour edges with Stormhost Silver.

With the figure painted, I covered the base with Vallejo Earth Texture, which gives a nice mud appearance. It’s a bit grey though, so a wash with Agrax Earthshade and then dry brush highlight with Karak Stone.

Step 5: Varnishing

It’s time to protect your hard work. I used a clear matte varnish spray (Vallejo Matt Varnish spray) to seal the figure and protect it from damage. Be sure to apply the varnish in a well-ventilated area and follow the instructions carefully. I then added the base features of grass tufts.

And there you have it! This figure was very satisfying to paint and allowed me to explore my creativity and bring one of my favourite characters to life.